PALOS HILLS — Students in Moraine Valley Community College’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) certificate program received scholarships, made possible by a $10,000 donation from UPS, throughout the year, with the final scholarships awarded in late June.
The donation from UPS provided $500 scholarships to 20 students in the program for tuition and program-related expenses. Program participants were encouraged to apply for the scholarship when they began the CLD program.
The logistics company worked with the Moraine Valley Community College Foundation to set up the UPS Commercial Driver’s License Certificate Program Scholarship to help address the nationwide shortage of truck drivers.
“We are impressed with UPS’s commitment to our community, the college and our students,” said Kristy McGreal, executive director of the foundation. “They not only understand the need for highly skilled drivers, but they also provided funding toward a practical solution to solve this serious workforce gap.”
Steve Pappageorge, executive director of Community Education, Workforce Development and Government Relations at Moraine Valley, noted the growing need for CDL drivers.
“The shortage of drivers has gotten worse since the pandemic started. Logistics and transportation firms need drivers to deliver goods and services across the country, as well as locally,” Pappageorge said. There is a huge opportunity for men and women to start a new career that pays well and has high employability.”
Moraine Valley offers its truck driving program in partnership with 160 Driving Academy, which offers CDL training across the nation. Students take 40 hours of classroom work at the college and complete their behind-the-wheel experience off-site in South Holland or Harvey. Most students complete the program in five to seven weeks.
The UPS scholarship was awarded to students who completed an application and demonstrated a strong need for CDL training.
“Some of our students are single parents trying to better their family’s lives. Others have lost jobs or businesses and need to start over. We considered their need and what they want to do in the future. We also looked for women and underrepresented people when awarding the funds,” Pappageorge said. “The scholarship helped them pursue their new career. Recipients are not required to work for UPS after completing the program. UPS has been very generous, and they want to help people enter the field because they know there’s a great need for drivers.”